[Fwd: British English technical variations]

Subject: [Fwd: British English technical variations]
From: Steve Read <seread -at- pacbell -dot- net>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 18:03:46 -0800

I spent nine years in the UK, so I'll help. Finally! Something I know

John Nesbit wrote:
> We have run into a British client who is VERY
> particular and demands that we translate any of our
> American technical material into proper British
> English.

< snip >

As an aside, it was my experience that most British people didn't feel
this way. It did seem to be true that there was a small but vocal group
who worry about "cultural imperialism" (refer to "The Guardian"). I did
work for American companies about half the time I was there, though, so
my sample may be skewed.


> First, what differences exist between a British
> keyboard and a standard American one, if any? For
> example, is there a £ sign instead of $ sign?

There are many; if you really have trouble, I'll transcribe one that I
have, but it'd take a while. Yes to the £ sign, but it's in addition to
the $. The # is moved to make room.

> Second, when consumers use Microsoft products, do they
> buy versions ?translated? into British English: does
> the Program Manager in Windows 3.1 become Programme
> Manager for British consumers?

Computer programs in British English are "programs." Modernization
programs, for example, are "programmes." In answer to your broader
question, no. The only difference I know of in MS products is in
dictionaries and in the default setups for things like paper size and
currency formats depending on one's location.

> Third, in ?Express setup automatically chooses the
> applications and utilities that will?? does the word
> ?utilities? in context seem clear enough, or does
> ?utilities? need clarification or translation for a
> British reading audience?

If we're talking about an equivalent audience, knowledge-wise, I don't
see a problem (nor can I think of a word that a British audience would

> Realize that some of these are very detailed, but
> they could lead to some broader discussion as well.
> John
> =====
> Baseball playoff time! See my Stan Musial pages at
> http://members.tripod.com/~JANesbit

I don't exactly follow baseball, but isn't this sort of out of date?

Steve Read

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